Picking up right where STORMDANCER left off, KINSLAYER continues Mr. Kristoff’s Japanese fantasy-stempunk epic by upping the emotional stakes. The world doesn’t necessarily expand, though it kind of does, so much as entrench itself deeper into emotional and inter-personal turmoil.
It’s slower than its predecessor, and that can be frustrating at times. But sticking with this book is worth it, as Mr. Kristoff really uses this book to explore some large questions and issues: loyalty, trust, what does it mean to be human, and just how far will a person go for answers. And that’s just to name a few.
Kin, a second-tier main character of the first novel really takes centre stage, as he is the one who struggles with the aforementioned questions most of all. For those of us who just want a book of Yukiko & Buruu action, this book might seem like a chore to slug through — but I really enjoyed reading Kin’s struggles. Granted, I figured out what was going on very early on, but watching it all play out was just as enjoyable.
The cliffhanger ending of this novel will leave you swearing — or maybe that’s just me. I have a habit of doing that at (a) cliffhanger endings and (b) cliffhanger endings that leave me wanting more.